BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
It’s no exaggeration to call Rachael Sage the Carole King of her generation, especially when it comes to her obvious assurance and style. A pop purist whose grace and groove is both feisty and effusive, Sage has never sounded more in command than she does on this latest outing, which comes quickly on the heels of this past summer’s sensational EP, the aptly-informed New Destination. While that effort served simply as a sampler, Blue Roses is full-blown indulgence, a baker’s dozen of songs that cast Sage in a stirring range of emotions, from the poignant reflection suggested by “Newspaper” to the wide-eyed wonderment of “Misery’s Grace.”
Nevertheless, upbeat piano pop remains Sage’s forte and a good part of the album helps prove that point, making those references to King all the more evident throughout. The final track, a sublime take on Neil Young’s “Helpless,” finds Sage ploughing her roots while sharing vocals with Judy Collins, her mentor with whom she toured numerous times during her formative years. It’s an absolutely beautiful example of how two tremendous voices can blend in perfect harmony and further proof that Sage is easily the match for any master, either past or present.
DOWNLOAD: “Newspaper,” “Misery’s Grace,” “Helpless”